April 15, 2008

Prospective Students React to 2008 Cornell Days

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Each April, while students are graced with a sample of what spring weather should be like, newly-accepted students are invited to get a small taste of Cornell.
This year’s Cornell Days, which runs from April 10 to April 21, has played host to 544 students and 1305 visitors as of Sunday.
According to the Undergraduate Admissions Office’s website, the program allows prospective students to immerse themselves in the Cornell culture both academically and socially. During each of eight designated days, there are over 30 different organized activities for visiting students and their families.
These programs include both general information sessions and college-specific sessions and several campus tours, featuring libraries, residence halls and the overall campus. In addition, students are invited to lunch with ambassadors from each college and attend any number of classes of their choice.
This year differs from those past in that only eight of the days are specifically part of the program, according to Caitlin Briere ’08, member of the Cornell University Ambassadors.
In contrast, Briere explained that in the past the program entailed 12 to 14 consecutive days of planned programming.[img_assist|nid=29868|title=Check it out|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“The Tuesdays and Wednesdays [during the span] aren’t part of it, so we really hit the peak days and times when visitors can come. That [way], we can have the greatest impact on the most people,” Briere said.
In addition to these programs, the C.U. Ambassadors have collaborated with the Red Carpet Society to plan additional activities. These range from ice cream socials to bowling to a capella concerts and Clock Tower tours.
According to members of both organizations, these activities encourage prospective students to interact not only with current students, but also with other potential members of the Class of 2012.
According to Louis Romeo ’10, a member of the C.U. Ambassadors Steering Committee, the group aims to demonstrate that Cornell is “more than just a place to study.”
Prospective students can register at the Robert Purcell Community Center throughout the week.
One accepted student said he was also considering John Hopkins University, Northwestern University and University of Michigan.
“I think this one is probably the best,” he said. “I like nature, and this one really integrates it in terms of the scenery.”
Another said that she was deciding between Cornell, Northwestern University and U.C. Berkley. She and her mother had only just arrived at Cornell, but she said she thought the campus was pretty.
Tom Jackson, from Honesdale, New Jersey said that his list of prospective schools also included Penn State University, Carnegie Mellon University and Lehigh University.
“I really like it here; this will most likely be my decision,” Jackson said. “Everyone here seems really happy.”
Most parents also seemed interested in the school.
One mother, whose child had already decided she would attend C.U., said that although she felt the campus was rather large in size, she had an overall positive experience.
“My daughter is a figure skater and has been in touch with the girls on the team [here], and they have been very nice … she is with them right now.”
Students have the freedom to explore on their own during Cornell Days, outside of the planned events.
Visiting students also have the option to stay overnight with members of Red Carpet Society — a student organization that pairs prospective students with Cornell students.
According to Tom Noble ’08, co-chair of the Red Carpet Society, the organization projects that almost 500 visiting students will register for the overnight stay throughout the week.
Though many students’ visits consist of more than one night, Noble explained that due to the popularity of the program, Cornell Days only permits visitors to stay one night with their student hosts.
Although they do engage with current students, students who participate in the overnight stay are restricted in some regards.
“There are rules against prospective students going to fraternities, sororities and private houses,” Noble said. “But there are student-sponsored activities every night.”
A host himself during Cornell Days of his freshman year, Noble recounted that it was a great experience.
“It’s a small ego boost when you get to answer all the questions about the school!” he joked.